Hi this is amy from the alte store. i’m going to do a quick demo of how to wire multiple solar panels in parallel, using a combiner box. Now, we’ve already done a tutorial on how to wire panels in series, and how to wire 2 panels together in parallel using couplers. Now this is going to be how to wire multiple panels together using a combiner box. An advantage of the combiner box is it does give you a way to disconnect the array if you are using breakers. Also, it lets you separate the two strings from each other in case something.
Bad happens to one of the strings, it’s not going to backfeed and damage the other string. That’s really important if you’ve got more than 2 solar panels that you are wiring together. Now, we’ve got a display here that’s only got two panels, so we are going to be doing 2 parallel strings of 1 in series, but what we are showing you would be true as well if you had 2, 3, 4, or 12 panels all in series. You are going to be taking the plus from one panel in the string and the minus from the other, because when you wire in series you.
Are going to end up with one with plus and one with minus. so this, because i’ve just got one, I only have panel with the plus and the minus. So, the first thing you need to do is to figure out, if you have connectors on the solar panels, what kind of connectors they are. I’ve got some older panels here, so they have the nonlocking MC connectors, also known as MC1, they are made by Multi Contact. They were very very popular before 2008. If you’ve got newer panels, you may have connectors that have locks on them. So.
With them, you would have a little tab that would lock the connectors together. and you need a key to disconnect them. National Electric Code required that you have a locking connector for any accessible solar panels after 2008, so most manufacturers did switch over. So again, if you’ve got an older panel, you may have the MC, if you’ve got a newer panel you may have a locking one. Now several different manufacturers make these locking connectors, so you need to take a look and figure out what brand they are, because they are not.
All 100% interchangeable. so they might have the logo of the company written right on it, it might say MC or Tyco or Amphenol. If it doesn’t, check ou tthe datasheet of the solar you have, you can usually find those online, even for older obsolete panels. They tend to still have the connector on the datasheet. So, the reason you need that is because you are going to have the solar panels wire coming off them and have these solar connectors. Now these connectors are really nice for wiring in series, because they just click together.
But now when you are wiring in parallel, you actually have to transition from from these connectors to a bare stripped wire to go into your breaker box. So what you would do is you would get an extension cable, and you’re going to get the cable that’s twice as long as you need it to be, the distance that you need to go. And you are going to have the correct connectors on it, that you’ve already figured out what kind they are. You are going to cut it in two. Now note I didn’t say cut it in half. Now since I’m just going from.
One panel, yah, i’m going to cut it in half because they are both going to be going the same distance. But if I’m doing a string of panels, I might have the one panel really close to the combiner box, and the other one kind of far away. So you don’t want to just automatically go, whoop, cut it in two and find out that one’s too long and one’s too short. It’s a lot easier to cut than stretch, so you want to make sure you cut them the right size. And so what I’ve done here, is I’ve cut the two, stripped it, I’m then going.
To take off the cover, and i’m going to remove the protective face plate. now you see it’s got a nice plate so I can access the breakers, but not get my fingers where they shouldn’t be. But now I take that off so that I can get in there. And you see I’ve got two breakers in here. I’ve got two strings that I’m wiring in parallel, so I have two breakers. Now to figure out the size of the breaker, you need to check the datasheet or the label on the back of the solar panel, and it will tell you either the Max Series Fuse Size, or if.
DIY Portable Solar Power Generator Part 1
Hey , i would like to show you my portable solar power generator that I recently built. I want to thank all of the folks who posted their projects on YouTube previously, they were great inspirations for this one. I consider this a mediumsize and moderately priced portable solar power generator. It generates 110 amp hours and costs,.
Including the 100 watt solar panel that’s used with it about $950 dollars total cost. It’s portable, but I would say that it’s not meant for backpacking. It weighs about ninety pounds. This particular unit I built to use on my cruising boat I wanted something that was portable so that when I sold the boat and upgraded.
I could take the system out and take it with me. i also do some tent camping and it will be used for that purpose as well. The system offers again 110 amp hours, obviously the starting point is to get some power into this .so for demo purposes today I’m using a small 27 watt.
Solar panel and i’ll show you how all this mates and how the whole thing works. Come around to the back of the system and you will see what I’ve installed is a 2pin SAE port that allows the energy from the solar panel to come into the system.and once that is coming into the system it is going to a.
Solar charge controller that is under the top. we’ll get back to that in just a bit. The case itself is a Plano sportsman’s case .was about twentyfive dollars, it is quite rugged is much more sturdy than a typical Rubbermaid container by all means but was quite affordable and again is to be used.
Inside a cabin on a boat so it doesn’t need to be perfectly weatherproof but this is I think quite weatherproof as it’s built. On the front, after we get some power into the batteries we’re able to provide power through a number to accessory ports, we’ve.
Got 12 volt on the side I did install a 12volt power indicator. It’s reading about 13.4 volts going in right now. We’ve got USB power here, a 5 volt 1 amp and a 5 volt 2.1 amp USB port, of course a 12volt outlet here and on the AC side.
What i’ve installed, you’ll see how that works in a bit, is an AC voltmeter and ammeter and that gives me an indication that power is on here and also is very important because the ammeter tells me how many amps I’m drawing out of the system using various appliances and that’s very.